Rangers Roundup: Kaapo Kakko remains on IR, Morgan Barron recalled, and more

kaapo kakko injury
Nov 16, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have finally taken the ice for practice since they last played on February 1. That was a 5-2 win against the Florida Panthers before the All-Star Break.

Prior to hitting the ice, the team announced the recall of forward Morgan Barron. In addition, Larry Brooks is reporting that Kaapo Kakko will remain sidelined. No timeframe for return has been provided as of yet.

New York Rangers roster notes

The Rangers roster has 21 of 23 spots taken with the recall of Barron. Patrik Nemeth, who has been out for personal reasons and is on the non-roster, is skating with the team today.

Once activated, he will be the team’s 7th defenseman. That leaves one spot left for Kakko when he comes of IR, but depending on how long he is out another Hartford call up is expected.

Filip Chytil, who was a game-time decision against the Panthers is skating as well. He’s been out since getting injured against the Coyotes on 1/22.

Chytil, 22, was selected by the Rangers in the 2017 NHL Draft in the first round (21st overall). He has 11 points in 38 games this season and 82 in 224 career contests.

Adam Fox, who was recently taken off IR is also a full participant.

Kaapo Kakko IR

kaapo kakko
Jan 28, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) greets right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) after defeatin the Buffalo Sabres in an overtime period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

During the Rangers loss to the Hurricanes (1/21), cameras caught Kakko wincing in a lot of pain and discomfort at the end of the second period. He could be seen flexing his shoulder and chest area. He was placed on IR soon afterwards.

According to head coach Gerard Gallant, he expected Kakko to return to the lineup after the All-Star break. After practice, Gallant will likely provide an update today.

Kakko, 20, was selected second overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-3 winger is at a crucial point in his development as he’s in his third year. He finished the 2020-21 campaign with 17 points on the strength of 8 goals in 48 games. This season, he has 14 points in 37 games.

Morgan Barron recall

Barron was the 174th overall pick by the Rangers in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He’s recorded 14 points (9 G – 5 A) in 23 games with the Wolf Pack this season.

Barron, 23, has 1 assist in 9 NHL games this season. The forward has been as a center and wing with the Rangers this season. His versatility makes him an asset for the third and fourth line.

In his limited action with the team this season, Barron has lived up to his billing as a good face-off man. He’s taken a total of 37 draws winning 23 of them for a 62.2 face-off winning percentage.

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